Dear Global Givers,
Like objects, children are bought and sold, even in present day. This is the sad reality we witness in a country like India where every eight minutes a child goes missing in India. Child trafficking affects thousands of people in India every year, robbing them of their rights to grow and live in a safe and conducive environment.
The Every8Minutes campaign continues to raise awareness about the plight of children across India by garnering support with partner organisations to combat this modern day slavery.
Madhu* was trafficked at 15 years. After her mother passed away, Madhu lived with her grandmother since her stepmother did not want to look after her. Her aged grandmother worked as a daily wage labourer earning a mere £1 per day, which was not enough for both of them. Madhu then started working as a daily wage labourer where she befriended a lady who later lured her to traffickers. Madhu was threatened, sexually abused and forced to service 6-7 clients in a day. Finally, after months of mental and physical trauma, Madhu was rescued with the help of The Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA). She is currently residing at APSA’s shelter home where she is receiving counselling and informal education. APSA’s team is encouraging her to pursue her studies and also learn alternative livelihood skills which will help her to earn and live independently. Her case has been registered and she is waiting for her perpetrators to be prosecuted.
As part of Every8Minutes campaign, our partner organisation The Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA) celebrated International Women’s Day in Bangalore with trafficking survivors. More than 150 people attended the event where the girls embraced their freedom by performing dance, song and street play. Survivors use dance as a therapy to overcome their trauma. Performing in public also helps them boost their confidence to reintegrate back to the society.
Our support to APSA since 2013 has enabled many child trafficking survivors to be rescued and rehabilitated. Currently, APSA provides shelter, education and skill training to 32 rescued girls aged between 15-19 years. Bangalore is becoming a hub for child trafficking. Young girls and children are often lured to the big cities with a false promise of better lives.
"Child trafficking has increased since it is taking different forms day by day. Two hundred eighty-nine cases have come to us this year for bonded labour, child labour and sexual assault", Savita, Programme Coordinator, APSA.
Of an estimated 20 million commercial sex workers in India, 16 million women and girls are victims of sex trafficking, according to non-governmental organisations working in the country. Investigations, prosecutions and convictions for human trafficking continue to remain low in India even though the government has stepped up its law enforcement efforts.
Despite the grim statistics, we remain hopeful that children can still have a chance to live a decent life, grow with dignity and be protected from traffickers. We are encouraged and humbled because supporters like you have helped fund the life change of hundreds of children affected by human trafficking and modern slavery.
For this, we thank you and urge you to continue to support the Every8Minutes campaign.
Forever in gratitude for your support,
iPartner India Team
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the girls